Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

(Arroz con Gandules Frescos)

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Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas is usually prepared during the Christmas Holidays and other celebrations in Puerto Rico.  However, in the US, we tend to prepare this rice dish throughout the year.  The Africans brought the pigeon peas to the Caribbean.

I prefer the long grain white rice because the rice tends to separate when cooked, creating a fluffy rice, due to its firmer and dryer texture.  Rinsing the rice is a personal preference.  I also use a stainless steel cauldron (caldero) instead of our traditional aluminum cast caldero.

For this recipe, I will be using fresh pigeon peas that were harvested from my garden in the Midwest.  If unable to use fresh green pigeon peas, then click on this link to learn how to prepare this rice dish with canned pigeon peas – Rice with Green Pigeon Peas.

Cooking the Fresh Pigeon Peas!

In a saucepan, add 1 cup of fresh pigeon peas and cover with water.  Bring the water to a boil.

Note:  These fresh pigeon peas were harvested, packaged and stored in the freezer for future use.   They were also rinsed after removing the pigeon peas from the vacuum sealed bag.

When the water is boiling, add 1 teaspoon of lite salt or to taste and stir.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cover saucepan with lid and cook until the pigeon peas are tender.

The pigeon peas are tender after 20 minutes of cooking.  Remove saucepan from heat.

Separate the pigeon peas from liquid, using a strainer.  Set the liquid and pigeon peas aside.

This is the liquid that was separated from the cooked pigeon peas.

Since we will need 3½ cups of liquid, let’s add enough water to measure 3½ cups.

Sautéing All the Ingredients Except for Water and Rice!

In the caldero, we can now add the following ingredients:  4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce and 2 seasoning envelopes of coriander and annatto.

If you are unable to purchase the seasoning envelopes at your local market, click on the link to prepare your own Special Blend of Seasonings.

Continue by adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of sofrito made with culantro (recao).

Click on the link to learn how to make a large batch of Sofrito or click on the link on How to Make Sofrito for a Single Meal.

We can now add 3 sprigs of chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons of capers, 10 pimiento stuffed green olives and ½ cup of diced lean ham.  

Note:  If you are a vegan or vegetarian, omit the ham.

Lastly, the fresh cooked pigeon peas.

Stir all the ingredients until well blended and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.

Boiling the Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas!

After 5 minutes of sauteing the ingredients, pour 3½ cups of liquid that we measured earlier into the caldero.  Bring the liquid to a boil before adding the rice.

Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

The liquid is boiling.  At this point, you may want to add more salt so check if the salt content is to your liking.  We can now add 3 cups of long grain white rice. 

Stir rice well into liquid.

When the liquid starts to boil again, reduce heat to a simmer. 

Cover saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid is mostly absorbed.

Turning the Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas!

Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

The rice has been cooking for 15 minutes and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

We are ready to turn the rice.  Insert a spoon to the bottom inside edge of the caldero. 

Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

Bring the bottom rice to the top.  Continue this process all around the inside edge of the pot (caldero).  

Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

We just finished turning the rice.

Covering Rice with Banana Leaf!

Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

We love to cover our rice with a banana leaf.  This is optional.

Cover saucepan with lid and continue simmering for 20 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender.

Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas is Ready!

Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

Let’s remove the banana leaf to check if the rice is tender after 30 minutes of simmering.

Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

Look how beautiful.  The rice is definitely tender and fluffy.  You can see the steam in the back of caldero!

Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

The Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas is ready!  The gandules are soft.  When you combine the fresh pigeon peas (gandules) with rice and add our condiments, you will experience intense tropical flavors in this dish. 

Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

The Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules Frescos) is usually accompanied with Pork Shoulder Roast and Pasteles.

Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Cook Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules Frescos)!

 

Recipe and Nutritional Facts!

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only.  Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.

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Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas


  • Author: Aida Kitchen®
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x

Description

Our traditional well seasoned rice dish that is served during the Christmas Holidays!  We use fresh homegrown pigeon peas for this recipe.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh green pigeon peas, shelled and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt (low sodium)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic gloves
  • 2 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 2 seasoning envelopes with coriander and annatto
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sofrito
  • 3 fresh sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 10 pimento green-stuffed olives
  • ½ cup to 1 cup lean diced ham
  • 3 cups long-grain white rice

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, add fresh green pigeon peas and cover with water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil.  Add salt.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cover with lid and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until pigeon peas are tender.
  3. Place strainer over a large measuring cup and separate liquid from pigeon peas.
  4.  Measure the liquid from the pigeon peas.  Add more water to liquid to measure 3½ cups of liquid.  Set aside.
  5. In a 5-quart saucepan, add all the ingredients except for the rice and liquid.  Stir until all the ingredients are well blended and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.
  6.  Pour 3½ cups of liquid that we measured earlier into the saucepan and bring the liquid to a boil.
  7. Check if salt content is to your liking before adding rice to the boiling water.  Add rice and stir rice well into liquid.
  8. Reduce heat to simmer when the liquid starts to boil again.
  9. Cover saucepan with tight-fitting lid.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  10. Turn the rice by inserting a spoon to the bottom inside edge of the saucepan.  Bring the bottom rice to the top and continue this process until the rice is turned.
  11. Place a banana leaf over rice (optional).   Cover with lid and simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender.
  12. Remove banana leaf.  Serve with roasted pork shoulder (pernil) and pasteles (our version of tamales).

 


Notes

Some individuals prefer to prepare this dish with annatto oil then omit the seasoning envelopes with coriander and annatto.  Visit food blogging post on how to prepare annatto oil.

The fresh pigeon were shelled and stored in the freezer.

  • Category: Rice and Grains
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican

Keywords: Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

Nutritional Facts Disclaimer

Category: Rice and Beans, Vegan and Vegetarian

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